As good as can be expected...
...if you were wondering.
Yes, expectations... the 'death and taxes' of rugby if you will. You can be certain that people will always be expecting things – expecting a team to win or lose, expecting a player to perform or to disappoint – expecting a great deal of things.
I try to leave that to the experts and 'expectators'. While a player ultimately fights to secure a win for his team, winning isn't what he should be expecting, not in Super Rugby.
I wasn't expecting us to put almost 50 points on the Canes.
I expected gain-line dominance, because we made a commitment. I expected discipline, because we pledged to keep our heads when all about us were losing theirs. I expected that the execution of our plan would give us ascendancy. I didn't expect other things, but rather prepared for them.
It meant 48-14 this weekend. It could mean something totally different next time around – that's the nature of the beast.
There really isn't any other way to go about it in rugby, mainly because there are too many things that can not be known. Don't expect to win, prepare to win. If you insist on expecting something, expect your training to show. If you do it right, you should be on the winning side more often that not.
Expectance can so easily turn into hoping, and hoping is something that I'm not particularly fond of. I've always thought of it as ambition's cowardly cousin, since ambition to me says process and vision where hoping forgets about the process and focuses on an outcome, like wishing.
If you have to start hoping for things then you know you're busy with the uncontrollable – fine for Christmas season, not Rugby season.
It was a great game for us, and the bye this coming week means that we got nine points for one weekend's graft. The guys have been given the week off, apart from one or two of the fatties that have a couple of extra sessions to negotiate, bless their souls.
This spare time will give me the opportunity to bond with my latest – Beau. That's right people, I am the proud father of a beautiful male Bulldog pup. Those of you that have been reading my blogs from the start should already be familiar with the notorious Zsa Zsa, my apathetic Bulldog female. Well, I decided that it's time she gets a partner, and so the quest began.
The relevance of my criteria for choosing a pup is without a doubt questionable – all I know is that, like any parent, I'm preoccupied with the idea of grandchildren. I was looking for an alpha male, so the first pup to start humping my leg would get the gig.
Sure enough, his first sighting of the very unflattering figure of the obese Zsa Zsa produced an instant beau'ner, and that's how he got the name. His taste in women might be debatable, but my boy Beau is a beaut. I'm expecting truckloads of grandkids from him. Sorry, I meant 'preparing for'.